Kawhi Leonard (2)
But ESPN reported Thursday, hours before the 2018 NBA Draft, that the Spurs will not be contacting teams regarding trade scenarios. Instead, Popovich and general manager RC Buford are fielding calls from teams making proposals to acquire Leonard.
There has been no such contact between the Spurs and the Lakers, ESPN reported, a noteworthy item considering reports over the weekend claiming Leonard wanted to be in Los Angeles.
Leonard played in just nine games this season, averaging 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He was shut down indefinitely after scoring nine points in 28 minutes against the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 13 and never returned despite being cleared to play by Spurs doctors.
Leonard felt he wasn’t physically ready to play despite medical clearance. The two-time All-Star primarily worked out at the NBA Players Association headquarters in midtown Manhattan, with the Spurs sending staffers to observe and assist as needed.
According to ESPN, Leonard’s relationship with the Spurs started deteriorating in 2016 when he parted ways with representative Brian Elfus. Leonard is now partly represented by his uncle.
Leonard has two seasons — one a player option — remaining on the five-year, $90 million extension he signed with San Antonio in the summer of 2015. He is eligible for a five-year, $219 million supermax extension this summer.
–Field Level Media